A The Kingdom Has Drawn Near

We have already indicated the headline and summary with which Mark introduces his account of Jesus' mission: 'the kingdom of God has drawn near (engiken)' (Mark 1.15). Matthew follows him (Matt. 4.17). We also observed that the parallel accounts of the sending out of the disciples on mission (Q) have them instructed by Jesus to deliver precisely the same message: 'The kingdom of God/heaven has drawn near' (Matt. 10.7/Luke 10.9; Luke 10.11).124 This is a notable fact and one not to be lightly discounted, that Mark and the Q tradition agree in summarising the message of Jesus in precisely the same words. Arguments about whether the various elements of Mark 1.15 go back to Jesus or are redactional125 continue to owe too much to a literary editing conception of the traditioning process. Here as elsewhere, it almost does not matter whether we can recover the precise words of Jesus. What matters is that this form of words had become fixed and established in the re-preaching of the earliest missionaries and churches as the central summary of Jesus' preaching of the kingdom.

The force of the verb is also clear: the perfect tense (engiken) here indicates an action already performed and resulting in a state or effect which continues into the present.126 It is not a timeless nearness which is in mind; something had happened to bring the kingdom near.127 The terminology is no doubt deliberate: the Evangelists would have known well enough the difference between 'near' and 'far' and the Q tradents were certainly aware of the dif ference in saying that the kingdom had (already) come (ephthasen) (Matt. 12.28/ Luke 11.20). C. H. Dodd famously blurred this difference by hypothesizing the same Aramaic term 'reach, arrive') behind both Mark's engiken and Q's

124. Luke's division of the mission material into two missions is of little consequence here: Luke 9.2 (the mission of the twelve) simply reports Jesus commissioning the twelve 'to proclaim the kingdom of God' (note also 9.11 and 9.60); Luke 10.9 (the mission of the seventy) adds 'to you' ('the kingdom of God has drawn near to you'). For a brief survey of the discussion see Meier, Marginal Jew 2.485 n. 155. Thomas has no parallel.

125. E.g., J. Schlosser, Le Regne de Dieu dans les dits de Jesus (EB; Paris: Gabalda, 1980) 96,105-106; Crossan, Fragments 54-56; Lüdemann, Jesus 10-11; on Luke 10.9 similarly Schürmann, Gottes Reich 96-100. The reference to 'the gospel' is certainly Mark's formulation (see above, n. 3). The Jesus Seminar regard the whole of Mark 1.15 as late (apart from the reference to the kingdom of God, 'God's imperial rule') because 'Jesus' disciples remembered his public discourse as consisting primarily of aphorisms, parables, or a challenge followed by a verbal retort' (Funk, Five Gospels 40).

126. Good parallel illustrations of the usage are provided by Mark 14.42/Matt. 26.46; Luke 21.20; Rom. 13.12.

127. See particularly Merklein, Jesu Botschaft 51-53, 56-58.

128. Cf. particularly Mark 12.34; Acts 2.39.

ephthasen;129 but a different Aramaic form is equally possible (qereb, 'approach'),130 and Q's use of different Greek verbs presumably indicates an awareness early in the traditioning process of a significant difference between the two sayings. It is certainly difficult to give engizein, the verb used in both the relevant Markan and Q passages, any other sense than 'come near'.131

The sense, then, is of imminence rather than of presence.132 Whatever underlying Aramaic may be detected, the Greek is clear enough. The Evangelists would presumably have had no doubt that the event which had thus brought the kingdom near was the mission of Jesus. But the fact that the emphasis was so fixed and so central in the tradition, for earliest missionaries and churches, strongly suggests that this was the emphasis behind the fixing and reuse of the tradition from the first. It was disciples who recalled Jesus as so preaching; it had been an important factor in their becoming disciples. It was as disciples who already saw in Jesus an event of final significance that they no doubt thus established and thus rehearsed the tradition.

What was it that had drawn near? God's kingdom, the exercise of God's kingship, the manifestation of God's sovereignty. The saying adds nothing to our understanding of 'the kingdom of God' per se. It focuses only on the nearness of the kingdom's appearing.

Under the same heading we should note also the parable of the budding fig tree, which all three Synoptic Evangelists have included in the apocalyptic discourse (Mark 13.28-29 pars.). The tradition uses the term engys ('near') twice:

From the fig tree learn the parable: when already its branch has become tender and it puts forth its leaves, you know that the summer is near. So also when you have seen these things happening, you know that it is near, at the gates.

The reference to what is near is unclear in the form of the saying itself, though Luke identifies it as 'the kingdom of God'.133 But the saying does

129. C. H. Dodd, The Parables of the Kingdom (London: Religious Book Club, 1935, 31936) 44.

130. Dalman, Words ofJesus 106-107; Taylor, Mark 166-67; Black, Aramaic Approach 208-11; Chilton, Pure Kingdom 61-62; similar strictures in Casey, Aramaic Sources 27.

131. W. G. Kümmel, Verheissung und Erfüllung (31956), ET Promise and Fulfilment: The EschatologicalMessage ofJesus (London: SCM, 21961) 24; McKnight, New Vision 123; see further below, 12.5a.

Meier is less confident about the force of the saying and includes it in the present' category (Marginal Jew 2.430-34); Crossan follows Kelber in reading 1.14-15 in conjunction with Mark 6.12, as 'the gospel of the Kingdom's hidden presence' (Historical Jesus 345); see also below, n. 280.

By sequencing the sayings in the apocalyptic discourse as he does, Mark, followed seem to carry the same force as the engiken sayings: the coming of summer thus heralded cannot be long delayed.134

b. The Kingdom to Come

Equally worthy of note is the second petition of the Lord's Prayer: 'May your kingdom come' (Matt. 6.10/Luke 11.2). This is the prayer remembered as taught by Jesus to be his disciples' distinctive prayer, the prayer prayed probably from the first by the tradents in their lives of discipleship.135 The fact that this prayer, which was probably firmly rooted in the spirituality of Jesus' disciples, prays for the kingdom to come, without any sense of it having already come, cannot but be important. One does not pray for something to come if it is already present.136

Moreover, the prayer looks as though it has been modelled on an early form of the Jewish Kaddish

Exalted and hallowed be his great name in the world which he created according to his will. May he let his kingdom rule in your lifetime and in your days and in the lifetime of the whole house of Israel, speedily and soon.

by Matthew and Luke, presumably refers the saying to the coming of the Son of Man (Mark 13.26 pars.). But apart from its present context it resonates more like a parable of the kingdom's sure coming (Taylor, Mark 520; Pesch, Markusevangelium 2.307-308, 31 1, who compares Luke 12.54-56; G. R. Beasley-Murray, Jesus and the Kingdom of God [Grand Rapids: Eerd-mans, 1986] 333). Luke's addition of 'the kingdom of God' is probably redactional, but does the redaction carry with it an awareness of what the original reference was?

134. Cf. Jeremias, Parables 119-20.

135. See above, Of the five Q kingdom sayings which Schurmann traces back to Jesus with probability, this is the one of which he is most confident — a 'probability bordering on certainty' (Gottes Reich 135, 144; see also Schurmann's Jesus 18-30, 45-63). 'Jesus' understanding of God may best be seen from the Lord's Prayer, in which the essential content of Jesus' preaching is summarized' (Stuhlmacher, Biblische Theologie 1.84-85).

136. 'The meaning is not "may thy Kingdom grow", "may thy Kingdom be perfected", but rather, "may thy Kingdom come". For the disciples, the basileia is not yet here, not even in its beginnings. . . . Either the basileia is here, or it is not yet here. For the disciples and for the early church it is not yet here' (Weiss, Proclamation 73-74). Gnilka also observes that the aorist tense (in the Greek) refers to 'a single future coming' (Jesus of Nazareth 136).

137. Jeremias, Proclamation 198; Davies and Allison, Matthew 1.595; fuller details in C. A. Evans, 'Jesus and Rabbinic Parables, Proverbs, and Prayers', Jesus and His Contemporaries 251-97 (here 283-94).

can hardly be accidental that the first two petitions of the Lord's Prayer are so similar to those of the Kaddish. This confirms the origin of Jesus' prayer within Jewish circles and probably implies that Jesus was himself influenced by an early form of the Kaddish'38 in modelling the prayer he taught.139 The point is that both prayers look for an effective implementation of God's kingdom. As already noted, the Lord's Prayer's talk of the kingdom 'coming' is distinctive of the Jesus tradition; but bearing in mind the breadth of reference in the term (§ 12.2a above), the petition would probably have been understood, and prayed, as an expression of hope in God as king.140 And the request would presumably be either that God would exercise his kingship more fully, or more likely, as in the typical hope reviewed above (§ 12.2b), that God intervene finally and decisively on behalf of his people — as perhaps in the other ancient Jewish prayer: 'Reign over us, you alone' (Shemoneh 'Esreh ll).141 At any rate, both the Kaddish and the Lord's Prayer express a hope or expectation for the future — in the Kaddish for the near future ('in your lifetime and in your days . . . speedily and soon').142

Do the other petitions of the Lord's Prayer help in clarifying the issue? The question focuses chiefly on the last three requests. The fourth petition (in Matthew), which includes the difficult phrase 'our bread ton epiousion', may well be best rendered as 'Give us today our bread for the day ahead' (Matt. 6.11/Luke that is, as a prayer that can be prayed either morning or evening. In the context of Jesus' preaching and of Israel's history, it would thus invoke either

138. Since the attestation of the Kaddish is late the issue remains in some doubt; see J. Heinemann, 'The Background of Jesus' Prayer in the Jewish Liturgical Tradition', in J. J. Petuchowski and M. Brocke, eds., The Lord's Prayer and Jewish Liturgy (London: Burns and Oates, 1978) 81-89 (here 81); but there is no problem in hypothesizing a long period of oral use prior to transcription. Heinemann also has no doubt 'that the prayer of Jesus in Matt. 6:9 displays all the characteristics of Jewish private prayer' (88).

139. Perrin, Language 47; Schurmann, Gottes Reich 101. This way of creating prayers was and still is characteristic of most prayers. In order to make new prayers acceptable to a liturgical community, they must reflect the traditional language and form' Sermon on the Mount 372-73).

140. While the first Christians looked for the coming of Jesus (cf. 1 Cor. 11.26; 16.22) (Ludemann, Jesus 147).

Schlosser, Regne Meier, Marginal Jew 2.298-300; 'In the final analysis,

"Your kingdom come" is a prayer for God himself to come and achieve his end in creating a world' (Beasley-Murray, Jesus and the Kingdom

Becker may be pushing too hard when he observes that 'Jesus reversed a traditional approach so that God's final demonstration of his rule as king came not at the end but at the beginning of the prayer and thus forced the present into a secondary position' (Jesus 269).

143. R. A. Guelich, The Sermon on the Mount (Waco: Word, 1982) 291-93; Daviesani Allison, Matthew 1.607-609. But the matter is far from clear: see Fitzmyer, Luke 904-905; Beasley-Murray, Jesus and the Kingdom 153-54; Betz, Sermon on the Mount 397-99; 'the bread that is coming' — lakma d'ateh (Chilton, Rabbi Jesus 77).

thought of the heavenly banquet to come144 or memory of the manna necessary to see the eater through to the Promised Land. Either way, a forward look to a desired outcome equivalent to the coming of the kingdom may well be implicit, with the further implication that under God's rule sufficiency is assured. Likewise, the petition for forgiveness presumably has the final judgment at least partly in view:146 the favourable judgment of God is depicted as dependent not on the petitioner's freedom from sin but on the petitioner's readiness to forgive others (Matt. 6.12/Luke 11.4a; see below §14.6).

Equally difficult to decide is whether the final petition has a similarly es-chatological note: 'Do not bring us into peirasmos' (Matt. 6.13a/Luke 11.4b). The issue here is whether peirasmos signifies any 'test or trial' or looks particularly to the great tribulation widely expected to precede the age to come. In other words, is this a prayer for help in daily trial and tribulation147 or a plea to be kept from the final and most testing trial of the present age?148 The latter certainly chimes in with a characteristic fearful expectancy in Jewish apocalyptic writings of the period and in the preaching of Jesus' mentor, John the Baptist,149 as indeed among the first Christians (see §12.4d below), but the key term itself (peirasmos) is not specific enough to settle the issue.151 The point here, however, is that the undisputed petition for the kingdom as still to come gives the prayer as a whole its eschatological note, and it is this note which echoes through the other petitions.

Other of the distinctive features observed by Jeremias above (§12.1) are also most naturally understood as implying a future kingdom. Most of the 'enter into' sayings clearly have that implication: the kingdom is to be entered into as into a future state or condition. Similarly, the kingdom is to be 'sought' as something yet to be attained. Presumably related is the contrast between 'the

144. Jeremias, Proclamation 199-201. See further below (§12.4f).

145. References in Davies and Allison, Matthew 1.609.

146. Davies and Allison, Matthew 1.612; Meier, Marginal Jew 2.301.

147. Betz, Sermon on the Mount 406-11.

148. Jeremias, Prayers 105-106; also Proclamation 202; 'the petition for protection from succumbing to the peirasmos is the desperate cry of faith on trial: preserve us from apostasy, keep us from going wrong' (Proclamation 129).

150. Jeremias, Proclamation 129, 201-202; Davies and Allison, Matthew 1.613-14; Meier, Marginal Jew

151. Guelich, Sermon on the Mount 294-96.

152. Of the passages cited in n. 23 above, only Matt. 21.31 and 23.13 are not clearly future-oriented, though Horn argues that the polemical thrust of these sayings marks them out as the earliest stratum of the 'entering the kingdom' motif ('synoptischen Einlassspruche' 200203).

153. See above, n. 22, and further Davies and Allison, Matthew 1.660.

(present) age and the age to come', where only in the latter can one enjoy 'eternal life' (Mark 10.30/Luke 18.30) and angelic existence (Luke 20.34-36).154

c. Eschatological Reversal

As many have observed, a persistent theme in the Jesus tradition is that of escha-tological reversal. One of its most striking expressions appears in the collection of beatitudes. It cannot but be significant that both Matthew and Luke seem to have followed the compilers of the tradition in Q in putting the beatitudes at the head of the first collection of Jesus' teaching (the Sermon on Mount/Sermon on Plain, Matt. 5.3-12/Luke 6.20-23). As elsewhere in the Jesus tradition we see evidence of concern to group together like material, no doubt initially by teachers responsible for telling and being consulted about the tradition. Neither interest is shared by Thomas.

3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Luke 6.20-23

20 Blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom God.

Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.

22 Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man.

23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.

54 Blessed are the poor, for yours is the ofheaven.

69 Blessed are they who are that the belly of him who desires may be satisfied.

68 Blessed are you when you are hated and persecuted, and no place will be found where you have been persecuted.

Here once more there can be little doubt that Jesus is remembered as one who spoke in this form. In the retelling, the Evangelists have given the individual sayings their own slant, and the sequence may have been extended with fresh 'blesseds' (Matt. 5.7-10) and parallel 'woes' (Luke 6.24-26), added in the spirit

154. Note also Mark 3.29/Matt. 12.32. Matthew takes over the phrase 'the end of the age' from apocalyptic language (Matt. 13.39, 40, 49; 24.3; 28.20); see above, nn. 94-99. Dalman had already observed that if the ideas of 'this age' and 'the future age' were at all used by Jesus they 'were not of importance in His vocabulary' {Words of Jesus 148).

of those already part of the tradition.155 The noteworthy feature at this point, however, is the agreement of Matthew and Luke with Q in placing the kingdom beatitude at the head.156

The common feature in the beatitudes is the theme of reversal, in which case the present tense of the first should probably be taken as a proleptic present: the kingdom is to be the poor's. The poor are comforted in the present, not because their situation has already changed, but because they can be confident that God has not forgotten them and that their place in his kingdom is assured. It does not necessarily follow that this was a hope of heaven. If Matthew's third beatitude (with no Lukan parallel) is any guide, the hope was for the meek to inherit the land (Ps. 37.11), which Matthew later identifies with the kingdom (Matt. 21.43).160 Here we find ourselves inextricably caught in the tension be-

155. For discussion see Davies and Allison, Matthew ad loc. and excursus, 1.431-42; Meier, Marginal Jew 2.323-36; Betz, Sermon on the Mount 105, 109-10. Note the sequence of (8 or 9?) beatitudes in 4Q525 2.1-8. For those who think the woes were part of Q, see Kloppenborg, Q Parallels 26, to which add particularly Catchpole, Quest 87-90. But we should avoid making the judgment of 'authenticity' dependent on our ability to recover 'the original form in its pristine purity' (Meier 2.320); performing and passing on the (oral) tradition was not conceived in such terms.

156. Schürmann suggests that in these beatitudes (cf. Mark 1.15) we hear Jesus' inaugural preaching in public (Lukasevangelium 1.332). In Thomas the first beatitude has no such prominence; but note also the tendency in Thomas (once again) to the other two beatitudes.

157. Schürmann, Gottes Reich 87; Beasley-Murray, Jesus and the Kingdom 162-63; Luz, Matthäus 1.208; 'the line also anticipates an eschatological verdict' (Betz, Sermon on the Mountl 18).

158. In Jewish writing the beatitude occurs both in wisdom writing as a moral exhortation and in eschatological contexts (particularly apocalypses) as promising future consolation (Guelich, Sermon on the Mount 64-65; Davies and Allison, Matthew 1.432-34; Meier, Marginal Jew 2.323-25; Betz, Sermon on the Mount 94, 97-105). Here the reversal theme makes clear the eschatological orientation: 'Strictly speaking, they should be pronounced by the divine judge in the afterlife, as verdicts at the eschatological judgment' (Betz 96). Kloppenborg Veibin plays down too much the eschatological thrust of Q 6.20b, as confirmed not least by its context in Q (6.20b-23)! ('Discursive Practices' 179-86). But see further below, §13.4.

159. The Hebrew terms 'poor' (aniyyim) and 'meek' ('anawim) evidently overlapped in their range of meaning and are translated in the LXX by a variety of terms, including ptöchoi ('poor') and praeis ('meek'); see F. Hauck and S. Schulz, praus, TDNT 6 (1968) 647-48; E. Bammel, ptöchos, TDNT6 (1968) 888-89; E. Gerstenberger, 'ana, TDOTM2M, 244-45; and further below, chapter 13 n. 136. Betz demurs on the issue (Sermon on the Mount 125-26), but the Jewish provenance of the beatitude is not in question.

160. No Jew hearing the preceding parable (Matt. 21.33-42 pars.) would fail to identify the vineyard with Israel (Isa. 5.1-7; see further below, chapter 16 n. 68), and the Matthean addition identifies the vineyard with the kingdom of God. So (land of) Israel = vineyard = kingdom of God. Cf. Freyne, Galilee, Jesus and the Gospels 239-47.

tween different strands of eschatological expectation in Second Temple Judaism — between a hope for restoration of the dispersed to the land renewed in its bounty, a hope for social justice (righteousness),161 a hope to 'inherit the earth' (world domination?), and a spiritualized hope for eternal life.182

Eschatological reversal is a theme repeated elsewhere in Jesus' kingdom teaching, particularly in Matthew. It is the child who typifies the kingdom participant; only such will enter (Mark 10.14-15 pars.; Matt. 18.3).183 In contrast, the rich will find it exceedingly hard if not impossible to enter the kingdom (Mark 10.23-25 Matthew also has a saying about toll-collectors and prosti tutes 'preceding you into the kingdom of God' (Matt. 21.31).165 Particularly prominent is the great(est)/least motif: the kingdom is like a mustard seed, smaller than all seeds, but when grown is greater than the other herbs (Mark 4.30-32 pars.);188 the disciples argue about who is greatest (Mark 9.34 pars.), that is, no doubt, in the kingdom (Matt. 18.1, 4);187 in Matthew's version (Matt.

181. 'The Beatitudes call for a renewal of those social values derived from covenant traditions' (Kaylor, Jesus 105).

183. The Jesus Seminar questioned whether talk of 'entering God's domain' could go back to Jesus on the grounds that the saying 'had been drawn into the context of baptism (note John 3) and thus had to do with the rites of initiation into the Christian community' (see below, chapter 14, n. 39). Even if the link to baptism could be justified, the confusion of later use with origin is obvious. It is worth noting that Thomas also speaks of those like children entering the kingdom without any evident allusion to baptism (GTh 22). See further above, n. 24.

184. Funk notes that the 'eye of a needle' saying 'became a point of reference for the Fellows [of the Jesus Seminar] in determining the authentic sayings of Jesus' — a graphic and humorous aphorism (Five Gospels 223, 371).

165. This is one of Matthew's few 'kingdom of God' sayings, which could indicate that he has drawn it from tradition and for some reason retained its traditional form. Its 'lack of fit' with the preceding parable also suggests that Matthew has drawn it from elsewhere in the tradition. See also Matt. 5.19.

188. Cited below (§12.5e). The Jesus Seminar concluded that the Thomas version is closest to the original, but in treating the saying as a parody of great empire (an allusion to Ezek. 31.2-9 and Dan. 4.9-12 is certainly possible, but in their retelling the Synoptics echo Ps. 104[103 LXX].12 more closely) the Seminar have missed the contrast between 'smallest seed' and 'great (eschatological reversal) which is fundamental for the saying (Funk,

Five Gospels 59-80, 484-85; similarly Crossan, Historical Jesus 278-79); but see Bultmann, Theology 1.8; Jeremias, Parables 147-49; Kümmel, Promise 131-32; W. Schräge, TheEthicsof the New Testament (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1988) 19-20; Scott, Hear Then the Parable 377-87; Meadors, Jesus 204-208; Davies and Allison, Matthew 2.417; Lüdemann, Jesus 32; A. J. Hultgren, The Parables of Jesus (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000) 395-98; Liebenberg, Language 289-91, 298, 312. Similarly the parable of the leaven — also a kingdom parable (Matt. 13.33/Luke 13.20-21/G77» 98); Liebenberg points out that leaven is not universally seen as a negative metaphor (Language 338-38).

20.21) the request by/for James and John is that they should be granted the seats on Jesus' right and left in his (obviously) future kingdom ('glory' — Mark 10.37);168 it is the servant who is 'great';169 the Baptist is greatest among those born of women, but the least in the kingdom is greater than he (Matt. I/Luke 7.28).170 Matthew also repeats 'the first will be last, and the last first' saying,171 just as Luke repeats the Q(?) saying, 'Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted'.172

If the note of unexpected exaltation is prominent, so too is the note of unexpected judgment on those who might have assumed that their future status was secure. Notable is the prediction that many will come from east and west to recline in the kingdom, while Jesus' hearers ('the sons of the kingdom' in Matthew) will be thrown out (Matt. 8.11-12/Luke 13.28-29) — a striking variation on Israel's hopes for the return of the exiles with the eschatological pilgrims from the nations.173 Other similar 'reversal parables' explicitly imaging the kingdom are the great supper (Matt. 22.3; Luke 14.15), where the expected guests refuse the invitation and the banquet is thrown open to all and sundry (Matt. 22.2-10/Luke 14.16-24),174 Luke's parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16.19168. To attribute such a passage to factional rivalry within earliest Christianity (denigrating James and John) presupposes a degree of antagonism towards Jesus' most intimate circle of disciples and a cavalier handling of the Jesus tradition, which is almost entirely speculative and tendentious, pace the larger theses of T. J. Weeden, Mark: Traditions in Conflict (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1971); Kelber, Oral. Contrast Sanders: 'This cannot be a late invention. Later everyone recognized that Peter was the leading disciple, and the possible primacy of James and John would not have arisen' (Historical Figure 189).

169. Mark 10.41-45 pars.; Mark 9.35; Matt. 23.11; Luke 22.27.

171. Matt. 19.30; 20.16; Mark 10.31; Luke 13.30; GTh 4; on which see Crossan, Frag-ments42-47.

173. As Sanders observes, the hope of restoration generally included Gentiles (Jesus and Judaism 117). See also Becker, Jesus of Nazareth 66-68. The warning of Israel's rejection is hardly evidence of 'a secondary stage of the tradition' (Funk, Five Gospels 348) or of subsequent 'anti-Judaism' (Ludemann, Jesus 156). Such warnings were hardly strange to Israel's prophetic tradition; we Med only recall the Baptist (§11.4b; see also nn. 80, 105 above and §12.4e below). For detailed discussion see Beasley-Murray, Jesus and the Kingdom 169-74; Meier, Marginal Jew 2.309-17; 'this logion cannot come from primitive Christianity' (Theissen and Merz, Historical Jesus 254); older discussion in terms of the criterion of dissimilarity in Perrin, Rediscovering 161-63. See also Matt. 11.21-24/Luke 10.13-15 (§ 12.4ebelow), and cf. also Matthew's (redactional) conclusion to the parable of the wicked tenants: 'the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces its fruit' (Matt. 21.43). On the possibility that the saying refers to the return of the scattered exiles rather than the incoming of Gentiles, see n. 442 below. Kaylor draws out the socio-political implications (Jesus 131-37).

174. This is the obvious reversal theme of the parable, and fits with the sustained empha-

31),175 and Matthew's parable of the labourers in the vineyard, where the latecomers receive the same payment as those who have laboured throughout the day (Matt. 20.1-15).176 The Queen of the South and the Ninevites will receive a more favourable verdict at the last judgment than the present generation of Israel (Matt. 12.41-42/Luke 11.31-32).177 Finally we should note the exaltation promised to the twelve at the end of Q, that 'you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel' (Matt. 19.28/Luke 22.30).178

In all this there is a present note: the very fact that the assurance is being given in the here and now, and with such confidence, gives Jesus' message an immediacy of appeal. But the overall thrust is more forward-looking: the assurance is that God is the God of different priorities and that this will become evident in sis of Jesus' protest against the presumption of the righteous within Israel (see below §13.5). Scott reads the parable as reversing and subverting the of honour: 'The man who gives a banquet loses his honor and joins the shameless poor' (Hear Then the Parable 173-74); but does any version of the parable (including GTh 64) encourage that reading? See also n. 236.

176. Despite its sole attestation in Matthew, the parable's subversive note (kingdom as just reward) has generally impressed itself as characteristic of Jesus (Jeremias, Parables 33-38,

136-39; Scott, Hear Then the Parable 296-98; Funk, Five Gospels 224-25; Ludemann, Jesus 213; Hultgren, Parables 41-42 nn. 38, 39). Gnilka treats it as paradigmatic of Jesus' message (Jesus ofNazareth 82-93); also W. R. Herzog, Parables as Subversive Speech: Jesus as Pedagogue of the Oppressed (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1994).

177. Cited below (§12.5b). As with Matt. 8.11-12/Luke 13.28-29 (above, n. 173), the assumption that warnings to Israel must be attributed to early Christian disappointment at the failure of the mission to their fellow Jews (Funk, Five Gospels 188-89; Ludemann, Jesus 339; see also above, §7.4c) is spurious. Jesus could well have seen the generation condemned by Moses (Deut 1.35; 32.5, 20) as foreshadowing his own generation in the equivalent time of eschatological expectancy (Moses spoke 'beyond the Jordan in the wilderness', Deut. 1.1). Manson drew attention to the strophic parallelism evident in the saying 'as the most distinctive characteristic of his (Jesus') poetry and his special contribution to the forms of poetry in general' (Teaching 56). See Davies and Allison, Matthew2.357, Becker, Jesus ofNazareth 65-66, and further Reiser, Jesus and Judgment 230-41. Reiser takes up Manson's neglected insight in concluding: 'In all probability, there is scarcely a word in the Jesus tradition that we can more confidently regard as authentic', referring inter alia to Semitic diction and phraseology, the 'rabbinic' argumentation, and 'the strict form of symmetrically constructed double saying that has scarcely any parallels outside the Jesus tradition' (209, 211, 219-20).

178. The thought may be of the twelve 'ruling over' the twelve tribes (as did the judges of old) (Horsley, Jesus 201-206 — he even translates krinontes as 'saving [effecting justice for]'; C. A. Evans, 'The Twelve Thrones of Israel: Scripture and Politics in Luke 22:24-30', in Chilton and Evans, Jesus in Context 455-79 [here 471-72]; Allison, Jesus ofNazareth 102, 14145; others in C. Tuckett, 'Q 22:28-30', in D. G. Horrell and C. M. Tuckett, eds., Christology, Controversy and Community, D. R. Catchpole FS [NovTSup 99; Brill: Leiden, 2000] 99-116 [here 103 n. 20]; but see below, n. 205.

the near future.179 There will be a reversal of status: those who expect high recognition will be disappointed and those held in low esteem will be shown to be highly esteemed by God.180 The motif is by no means uniform. Nor is there much indication that this reversal might/will take place very soon; in these cases the future kingdom could well be conceived as a post-mortem state.181 At the least, however, some final is presumably in view, whether near or distant, whether at an individual or universal level. At all events, where we find such a consistent emphasis within the Jesus tradition we can scarcely doubt that it was an emphasis in Jesus' own preaching, leaving as it has such a mark in the tradition.182

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